Arthritis impacts 54 million adults in the United States alone, and by 2040 that number is expected to grow to 78 million.
We tend to think of arthritis as a condition that only afflicts the elderly, but in fact two-thirds of those with the chronic disease are working age, between 18 and 64, and it heavily impacts their quality of life. There is no cure for arthritis, but with proper care and medications, it’s a condition that can be managed. This is why arthritis awareness is so important.
May is National Arthritis Awareness Month, a time to spread the word about joint health and prevention. Since nearly 1 in 5 American adults have this condition, it’s worth talking about prevention. There are hundreds of types of arthritis, but the most popular three are osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, and psoriatic arthritis. Each type can lead to loss of joint function and deformity.
Healthy Habits for Arthritis Prevention or Control
Watch Your Weight – When you are overweight or obese, it can have a significant impact on your knees. This added pressure can increase the chances of osteoarthritis. Arthritis is one of the many health risks that can be reduced with a healthy diet and exercise. It’s also a prime way to keep arthritis in control, and reduce its negative impact on your quality of life.
A Fishy Diet – A diet that is high in omega-3 fatty acids can be extremely beneficial to your joints. This includes salmon, trout, or mackerel. Wild caught fish are typically recommended over farmed fish, which can contain more antibiotics, and be harmful to the gut lining.
Quit Smoking – Smoking has been linked to an elevated risk of rheumatoid arthritis, a condition where your immune system attacks your joints. It can also interfere with the effectiveness of your RA medications.
Proper Posture – If you sit at work, make sure your lower and mid back are supported, and you’re sitting at a 90-degree angle. Make sure to get up every once in a while to stretch your joints and muscles. If you are active at work make sure to slow down and take some short breaks. Whether you’re active or sedentary, you can stretch your muscles from time to time to prevent joint pain.
With 1 in 5 American adults afflicted with arthritis, joint health is a critical issue and should be taken seriously. National Arthritis Awareness Month is a great time to make sure you understand the risks involved with arthritis, and how it may impact your loved ones. Make sure they have the support that they need to be able to function. Wheelchair ramps and home access products can help improve the quality of life for someone who has progressed with this condition.
If you have any questions, contact us today!